Not as Good as Mine

Lately I’ve really been feeling self-conscious about some of the hand-painted nail art I’ve been turning out.
My circles are wonky, straight lines are fuzzy, everything seems just a little off. Like my eyes are going, I’m developing Parkinson’s, or possibly have been spiking my lattés.
I look back through photos I’ve taken over the years of art I’ve done. I definitely used to keep the brush steady.
So I started practicing on tips, on myself. Worried that I might be getting old — or just lazy. For the last several years, it’s been all about rockstar in these parts. I don’t do as much hand-painted stuff as I used to, and what I do isn’t as intricate as it used to be.
Turns out, no. I’m still totally capable of pulling off a cartoon character or a decent abstract.
So I started paying attention to my clients.
Oh! I see. It’s all that talking with the hands. The “I had an itch,” and the “there’s a fly in here.”
I can do a better job on my own nails because I’m paying attention to what I’m doing. I’m being careful with the hand that’s getting the art and with the hand that’s doing the art.
When I’m doing art on a client, I have little control over their hands. I mean, I try to hang on to them, I spend a lot of time scolding them when they move, but I can’t really stop them.
No wonder it always comes out better on me.

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